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Study Program

Good to know

In addition to the exhibition rooms, the Museum of Religions (Landgraf-Philipp-Strasse. 4) also houses the secretariat for the Study of Religions faculty as well as the offices of the professors, the museum curator, and the academic staff. The Study of Religions library has a good selection of books and four PC workstations for researching and writing. Last but not least, you’ll find the Study of Religions seminar room (LP 04) on the first floor where the series of lecture “Religion on Wednesdays” takes place. The climb up the stairs is worthwhile as there are other exciting corners to discover.

Lecture series

We hold a lecture series every semester concentrating on the objects and the research foci of the museum’s collection. The lecture series “Religion and Society” consists of attending the “Religion on Wednesdays” lecture series, as well as other events; the form and further information on these events can be found here.


Courses related to the museum’s collection are usually combined with practical exercises such as conducting guided tours, creating fact sheets about the museum, and external study trips. Dr. Rodemeier, the museum’s curator, offers a seminar each semester on a topic closely related to the collection that is aimed primarily at advanced bachelor’s and master’s students in the study of religions program; the courses are, however, also open to interested students from other subjects.

Information regarding courses of study: B.A. in Comparative Cultural and the Study of Religions and M.A. in the Study of Religions.

  • Module: Visual and Material Representations of Culture and Religion

    In this module, we examine and discuss how expressions of culture and religion are produced and conveyed through the media, museums and performances. This module uses examples to explain the development of methodological approaches to research on the visual representations of different religions and cultures, and explores possibilities for the presentation of artifacts and other material evidence in a museum. Other forms of visual representation of religions and cultures, e.g., the Internet or in films, are also discussed.

    Students should acquire an understanding of how to research the visual and material culture of a religious tradition and gain practical experience with implementing their own media and museum projects. The students will deal with topics such as: imagery of different cultures and religions, approaches to visualizing religion, visualizations of religions and cultures, and mediation of religions and cultures in the new media; students will also gain practical experience in curating and museological research.

    (Excerpt from the module manual)

  • Seminar Winter Semester 2019/20: Origins and Destinations: Colonial and Missionary Stories About Artifacts in the Museum of Religions

    The seminar sensitizes participants to the complexity of current restitution discussions. To date, there have been only marginal discussions about artifacts brought to Germany by Christian missionaries but, as a large number of them are part of the collection at the University of Marburg, this seminar will focus specifically on these objects. We will deal mainly with objects from Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia and also from former German colonies in the Pacific, and focus on the provenance of the artifacts. We will also explore the cultural changes set off by colonizers and missionaries and then examine the current political, cultural, and religious situations at the areas of origin of the various objects. Part of the research on an artifact’s biography will take into account how and why the artifact became part of the museum’s collection and, using this information, we will discuss what should or could happen to the objects in the future. The problematic nature of restitution in relation to a specific object’s provenance will also be considered.

    Deutscher Museumsbund e. V. (eds.) (2019): Leitfaden Umgang mit Sammlungsgut aus kolonialen Kontexten. 2. Fassung, Berlin. (

    Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst/Joachim Zeller (eds.) (2019): Deutschland postkolonial? Die Gegenwart der imperialen Vergangenheit. Metropol-Verlag, Berlin 2018, 579 pages

    Das Humboldt Forum und die Ethnologie (2019): Ein Gespräch zwischen Karl-Heinz Kohl, Fritz Kramer, Johann Michael Möller, Gereon Sievernich, Gisela Völger. kula Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 164 pages

    Hanna Rettig (2017): Making Missionaries – Junge Evangelikale und ihre Mission. Ethnografie einer Jugendorganisation auf Reisen. Transcript-Verlag

    Thomas Laely / Marc Meyer / Raphael Schwere (eds.) (2018): Museum Cooperation between Africa and Europe; A New Field for Museum Studies. Transcript-Verlag

    Mario Schulze (2017): Wie die Dinge sprechen lernten; Eine Geschichte des Museumsobjektes 1968-2000. Transcript-Verlag (

  • Seminar Summer Semester 2019: Visualization of religion in public and semi-public spaces

    This seminar consists of two parts, and it begins by sensitizing participants to the presence of religion in public space. Building on this, the class researches the concrete implementation of the visualization of religion in museums and puts those results into practice in our collection. A primary focus of the seminar is on museums as semi-public spaces. In particular, it examines how religion per se and how specific religions are presented in the Museum of Religions’ collection. Observations and publications from our museum are compared with exhibition concepts of other museums that have a religious connection. An important goal of this seminar is for participants to question existing exhibition concepts using the seminar’s focus on the "visualization of religion" and to ultimately design their own conceptualization of presenting an object or a group of objects from the collection.

    Peter J. Bräunlein (ed.) (2004): Religion und Museum. Zur visuellen Repräsentation von Religion/en im öffentlichen Raum. Transkript (open access)

    Paine, Crispin (2013): Religious Objects in Museums: Private Lives and Public Duties. Bloomsbury Academic

    Katharina Knacker (2016): Mission Museion. Museen der katholischen Kirche im deutschsprachigen Raum. Transkript: edition museum

  • Seminar Winter Semester 2018/19: Tracing objects from the museum’s collection in order to illustrate the plurality of Religions in Indonesia

    Objects from the museum’s collection are used to illustrate the diversity of beliefs in Indonesia. The distinction between religion and tradition, which has prevailed in Indonesia in recent decades, will be explored cooperatively using selected objects. At the conclusion of the seminar, the research results will be used to create explanatory texts for the individual artifacts.

    Franke, Edith (ed.) (2017): Objekte erzählen Religionsgeschichte(n). Eine religionswissenschaftliche Spurensuche in der Religionskundlichen Sammlung. Marburg: Veröffentlichen der Religionskundlichen Sammlung der Philipps-Universität Marburg, Bd. 9.

    Römer, Janina von (2018): Pusaka – Ahnenschätze im ostindonesischen Raum. Fremdkulturelle Herkunft und sakrale Verwendung. Berlin: regiospectra.

Fact Sheets in Fulfillment of Academic Requirements

A museum fact sheet can be prepared as a research paper or as an examination grade; exceptional sheets will be used in the museum. Producing a good fact sheet requires extensive reading of the literature and research on the object. To earn credit, students must consult with Prof. Dr. Edith Franke or Dr. Susanne Rodemeier in advance.

Conduct a Tour

Did you specialize in a particular religious tradition during your studies? Would you like to share your passion and knowledge of a tradition or religion? You can offer guided tours of the collection in your area of expertise. Please contact Dr. Susanne Rodemeier if you are interested.